The chairman emeritus of DAAR Communications Plc, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi,was yesterday, re-arraigned before the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja over a 6-count criminal charge alongside his firm, DAAR Investment and Holdings Ltd, owners of African Independent Television, AIT, and Raypower FM. To this end,the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) has presented 15 witnesses who will testify against Dokpesi, who allegedly received about N2.1billion from the office of the former National Security Adviser for Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential media campaign.
According to the charge signed by the Deputy Director, Legal and Prosecution at the EFCC, Mr. Aliyu Yusuf, the fund was released to Dokpesi by the erstwhile NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki(retd.) between October 2014 and March 19, 2015, and allegedly transferred from an account the office of NSA operated with the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) to a First Bank of Nigeria Plc account owned by DAAR Investment and Holding Company Limited. EFCC maintained that the transaction was in breach of section 58 (4) (b) of the Public Procurement Act 2007 and punishable under section 58 (6) and 7 of the same Act, as well as under section 17 (b) of the EFCC Act, 2004.
At the resumed hearing, EFCC took Dokpesi before Justice John Tsoho to enter fresh plea to the charge against him. Though no reason was given on why the case-file was retrieved from Justice Kolawole, Dokpesi, yesterday, pleaded not guilty to the charge. Justice Tsoho subsequently adjourned the matter till 2nd March 2016 for trial. Justice Tsoho equally allowed Dokpesi to go home on the same bail conditions that were handed to him by Justice Kolawole.